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Annu Rev Pharmacol Toxicol. 2012;52:179-97. doi: 10.1146/annurev.pharmtox.010909.105800. Epub 2011 Sep 19.

Molecular mechanism of β-arrestin-biased agonism at seven-transmembrane receptors.

Author information

1
BIOS Group, INRA, UMR85, Unité Physiologie de la Reproduction et des Comportements, F-37380 Nouzilly, France.

Abstract

The concept of biased agonism has recently come to the fore with the realization that seven-transmembrane receptors (7TMRs, also known as G protein-coupled receptors, or GPCRs) activate complex signaling networks and can adopt multiple active conformations upon agonist binding. As a consequence, the "efficacy" of receptors, which was classically considered linear, is now recognized as pluridimensional. Biased agonists selectively stabilize only a subset of receptor conformations induced by the natural "unbiased" ligand, thus preferentially activating certain signaling mechanisms. Such agonists thus reveal the intriguing possibility that one can direct cellular signaling with unprecedented precision and specificity and support the notion that biased agonists may identify new classes of therapeutic agents that have fewer side effects. This review focuses on one particular class of biased ligands that has the ability to alter the balance between G protein-dependent and β-arrestin-dependent signal transduction.

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